Beatrice and Miriam are sisters, sharing little except a traditional childhood that has left them burdened with unhappy memories.
Beatrice is a pianist, a romantic, who believes in love, while Miriam, who married the rather colourless Jonathan Eldon for pragmatic reasons, companionship, status, is not beyond disillusionment. Following her divorce, she returns to Beatrice, who is beginning to appear fragile. While they share a home and a few acquaintances, neither confides to the other what is in their hearts. For the beautiful Beatrice, now prepared to settle for friendship and closeness rather than passion, there is Max and the hope of carving a contented future with him. For Miriam there is love and esteem - and, finally, certainty.